Music News & Reviews

Idaho Botanical Garden’s Great Garden Escape concert series kicks off next week with Muzzie and Billy Braun

Great Garden Escape, the Thursday oasis of music and nature, kicks off on June 4.

Bring your low-backed lawn chair and a picnic — but not your favorite Cabernet or IPA. Management has changed its policies regarding beer and wine — and the bands.

This is the 20th anniversary for Great Garden Escape and it was time to shake things up, says Tracylea Balmer, the garden’s event director.

Rather than booking known acts, management had performers apply this year. “It’s such a popular venue, and we wanted to offer the opportunity to more musicians,” Balmer says. “This gave us a fair shot at spreading the love around.”

That means several acts will make their Garden Escape debut this year.

Along with the new music policy, the Garden also will launch a new wine and beer program. Because of liability issues, management has instituted a new alcohol policy. That means no adult beverages in your picnic basket. To make that go down easier, the Garden will pair local wineries, such as Cinder and Telaya, and breweries, such as Payette and Woodland Empire, with each band. You also will find food for purchase from Willowcreek Creek Grill and Raw Sushi.

Other new elements include a new parking area and entrance that takes you through the middle of the garden. An ADA parking area and path also is available.

6:30 p.m. Thursdays June 4-July 30; 6 p.m. Aug. 6-Sept. 17, Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $10 general, $7 members, $6 for ages 5 to 12. Bulk tickets of 10: $90 general, $60 members in advance. 343-8649.